Feb 6, 2021

UVa extends early action offers to 6186 for the Class of 2025


Early action applicants to the University of Virginia’s Class of 2025 received decisions yesterday considerably ahead of the mid-February release date originally suggested to follow early decision notifications in December.

And it’s clear that admission to the Commonwealth’s flagship university remains a highly sought-after prize among high school students—both from within the state and across the country.

Following application trends for this year, UVa received 47,827 applications, besting the previous record of 40,971 applications set last year by a whopping 17%. Of those new applications, 28,897 were submitted through early action, also up from 25,160, at the same time last year. And yesterday, UVa extended non-binding offers of admission to 6186 or 21% of those prospective ‘Hoos.

In addition, UVa’s binding early decision option attracted 2,937 applications—an increase of 38% over last year’s somewhat disappointing pool. Of those applicants, 968 or about 33% were offered admission in December. These students, representing about 25% of the planned incoming class were expected to send deposits and withdraw all other applications by January 1, 2021. For the record, Virginia Tech consistently fills about 20% of its class through binding early decision, while the College of William and Mary typically uses early decision to fill about a third of its incoming class. So far, it appears that UVa is steering a middle course.

In total, UVa made 7,154 offers through both early decision and early action—considerably up from the 5,967 early offers made last year. But still to come is regular admission, with decisions set to be released by April 1 (or most likely earlier). Note that 781 students deferred from early decision plus 7,185 deferred from early action will be considered in the regular decision pool (about 16,000 before the addition of deferred students).

The enrollment target for Virginia's Class of 2025 is about 3,800. According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SHEV), the class entering in fall of 2020, totaled 3,788, slightly exceeding original projections but far smaller than the class of 3,921 entering in fall of 2019.

Drilling a little deeper into the numbers, about 27% of the early action applicants and 54% of the early decision applicants came from Virginia. The majority of early action applicants, or about 73% came from out of state—a percentage that is a little higher than in past years.

Early action offers were made to 30% of the Virginia applicants (35% last year and 43% the year before) and 18% of the out-of-state applicants (15% last year and 19% the year before). Early decision offers, however, went to 39% of the Virginians (40% last year) and 26% of those from out of state (28% last year).

Most experts believe the large increase in applications for the class of 2025 comes as a result of students encouraged to apply by the new test-optional policy announced for this year and then recently extended for the next two years.

According to Admissions Dean Greg Roberts in an interview with The Cavalier Daily, “We worked extremely hard developing panels, programs and events throughout the summer and fall that allowed us to showcase the University and its extraordinary opportunities. With that said, it is likely that our move to test-optional admission also contributed to the increase.” He adds that 42 percent of this year’s applicants opted to submit applications without test scores.

Although a number of students were denied admission during the first rounds of consideration, about 25% were thrown a lifeline by being deferred to the regular decision pool. And of the 47,827 students applying for spots in this year’s entering class, about two-thirds came through one early option or the other.

Decisions for deferred students and those applying regular decision should arrive sometime before April 1. Note that deferred applicants are specifically encouraged to send new test scores and midyear grades as soon as possible.

All students admitted under early action will have until May 1, to make up their minds. And those applicants who were lucky enough to be admitted to UVa’s Class of 2025 can expect to receive significant encouragement to commit as soon as possible.